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Groundwater Monitoring and Dewatering

Ash Pond Dewatering

As Georgia Power closes its ash ponds, water in the ponds must be removed so the ash pond can either be excavated or closed in place using proven engineering methods and technologies. The water will be comprehensively treated and tested before either being discharged through a permitted outfall, or reused for internal power plant processes. This water treatment and removal activity is known as "dewatering". Throughout the dewatering process, the company is committed to protecting water quality standards by meeting its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, detailed dewatering plans, and Coal Combustion Residuals Rules (CCR).

Georgia Power provides advance notice to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) before dewatering any ash pond by preparing and submitting an "Ash Pond Dewatering Plan" for EPD's approval. The site-specific Dewatering Plan identifies the enhanced water treatment system controls and monitoring that will be used during the dewatering process to ensure that the water discharged meets all regulatory standards and is protective of the receiving stream's water quality.

Ash Pond Dewatering Ongoing Monitoring

Ongoing testing is an integral part of the dewatering process, which assures water quality is protected. Monitoring is conducted at three points through the dewatering process:

  1. Continuous, real-time monitoring of the water as it is being treated and moves through the dewatering system to ensure the treatment facility is operating effectively. Safeguards in place include automatic shutoff of the system so that the water in the ash pond is retreated until additional testing shows that the discharge will meet the continuous monitoring discharge criteria.    
  2. Dewatering discharge will be tested weekly, and samples will be collected by a third-party contractor and tested by a third-party accredited laboratory. The results of these tests will be reported to EPD as required and posted monthly on Georgia Power's website.
  3. Water samples will be taken from the receiving stream twice per month, both upstream and downstream of the discharge outfall. These samples will also be collected by third-party contractors and sent to the third-party accredited laboratory for testing. The results will again be reported to EPD and made available on Georgia Power’s website.

To read more about ash pond dewatering and monitoring click here.

Dewatering Monitoring Results

Georgia Power is actively sampling and testing the treated ash pond water in accordance with its EPD-approved dewatering plans. Third-party contractors are collecting the samples and these samples are analyzed by accredited independent laboratories.

  • All data is reported to the Georgia EPD and test results available to-date are posted on this site. These results show that the water discharged meets permit limits and receiving stream water quality is being fully protected.

Georgia Power provides tables in the reports that summarize individual rounds of testing at each plant to communicate its dewatering results with the public. Detailed footnotes are included to clearly explain the results contained in the tables.

Groundwater Monitoring

Since 2016, Georgia Power has installed approximately 600 groundwater monitoring wells to actively monitor groundwater quality around its ash ponds and on-site landfills at both operational and closed facilities. These monitoring wells are sited, installed, and sampled by third-party professional engineers and geologists. Georgia Power maintains and tests the extensive groundwater monitoring well networks at its facilities across Georgia to assess any potential impacts to groundwater from the ash ponds or landfills.

  • Monitoring is being conducted in compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, and rules pursuant to plans submitted to EPD.

  • Georgia Power will continue to monitor groundwater during and after the ash pond closure process to comply with the requirements in applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and rules.

  • Post-closure care spans for decades into the future and will include inspecting the closed ash ponds and landfills to verify continued structural integrity, maintaining the integrity of the final cover system, maintaining the integrity of the groundwater monitoring network, and sampling the groundwater monitoring well network as required.


Plant Specific Data

View plant specific documents for groundwater monitoring, dewatering, ash pond closures and CCR rule compliance.